First sight: back to the future

Lynne McTaggart

I’m back home from my Transformational Leadership Council meeting in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  During the week-long event, and the various meetings with remarkable men – and women – one particular connection stood out: a dinner my husband and I had with Larry Dossey, during which we’d had a fascinating chat about the power of premonitions. 
Larry Dossey is a doctor and former chief of staff of a Dallas, Texas hospital, who gave up his practice to write heretical books on the role of the mind, prayer and the sacred in health care.
Cluster of premonitions
Dr. Dossey’s fascination with all aspects of what he has called ‘non-local’ mind started during his first year of medical practice.  One night he had a dream about Justin, a four-year-old son of one of his medical colleagues, on a sterile exam room, going berserk, strenuously resisting a white-coated technician, who was attempting to place some medical apparatus on his head.
Dossey woke up feeling shaken, “as if this were the most vivid dream I’d ever experienced — profound, numinous, ‘realer than real’.”
Later that day, he bumped into Justin’s mother, holding the boy, whose face was wet with tears.  As she’d relayed it, they’d just come out of the electroencephalography (EEG) lab, where the technician, ordinarily so skilled in running an EEG tracing, had been completely foiled by the screaming boy. The sequence of events with Justin had followed those that had occurred in Dossey’s dream to the letter.
Dossey experienced a week of similar precognitive dreams, all of which came true.  He was too frightened to speak about them, because acknowledging their existence would negate everything he’d learned about how the universe is put together.  
One giant ‘now’
Premonitions completely turn our understanding of the world on its head. One of the most inviolate notions in our sense of ourselves and our world is our idea of time as a one-way, forward-moving progression. This assumption is reinforced every moment of our ordinary lives. Indeed, the most tangible evidence of time’s arrow is the physical evidence of our own aging; first we are born, then we grow old and die.
Our ability to receive information from the future suggests that at a more fundamental level of existence, there is no space or time, no obvious cause and effect. Newtonian ideas of an absolute time and space or even Einstein’s view of a relative space-time are replaced by a truer picture –that the universe exists in some vast ‘here’ where here represents all points of space and time at a single instant.
If subatomic particles can interact across all space and time, then so might the larger matter they compose. In the quantum world of The Field, a subatomic world of pure potential, life exists as one enormous present.
In seeing into the future, it may be that we are helping to shape this realm of pure potential and bring it into being, just as we do with a quantum entity in the present with the act of observation.
Catalogue of near misses
In his latest book, The Power of Premonitions, Dossey has catalogued an enormous number of cases where premonitions have saved the day.  A mother is prompted by her dream to remove her baby from its crib an hour before a chandelier crashes down on it, smashing it to pieces.  A dozen people are no-shows for choir practice for the first time the evening that their church explodes.  After vivid dreams of planes crashing into buildings, a mother cancels the family trip to Disney World scheduled to depart on September 11, 2001.  The list goes on and on.
Ian Stevenson, late professor of psychiatry at the University of Virginia, most famous for his past-life research, collected some 19 reports of people from five countries who’d had a vivid premonition of the Titanic disaster, including the financier John Pierpont Morgan, who canceled his ticket at the last minute. The Rhine foundation has similarly collected hundreds of stories of premonitions of 9/11.
Over the years, I’ve also been collecting premonition stories. The richest seam comes from the link between mother and child. As a boy of five, David, for instance, had had a tooth pulled, and the dentist was finding it difficult to stem the blood. Eventually, he succeeded, and David’s parents thought it was safe that evening to go to the cinema and leave him with the babysitter.
During the film, his mother suddenly saw a vision of David’s face covered in blood — a sight that filled the cinema screen. She rushed home to discover David asleep in bed, his face covered in blood, just as she imagined it. He was lying on his back, and the blood had started to run up his nose. In a few moments, he would have been asphyxiated.
Early warning system
What is most interesting about all these stories is exactly why premonitions occur.
In the overwhelming majority of cases, premonitions concern a warning of some kind. The Society for Psychical Research discovered that 60 per cent of their 290 cases they collected over the years had to do with deaths or accidents.
British biologist Rupert Sheldrake believes that there are strong evolutionary reasons for animals and humans to have an intuitive internal warning system. Natural selection would have favored the ability to sense impending dangers.
We may feel a premonition in the limbic system, the primitive emotional center of our brain.  It’s the place where we get a bad feeling about something, or instinctively understand we’re confronted with something we ought to avoid.
Although premonitions have been called ‘second sight’, James C. Carpenter of the Rhine Research Center proposes to call it ‘first sight’ not only because we all possess this ability, but also because it transcends all our senses. 
Furthermore, these flashes from the future are often the most important sights of all.
However, these early warning cues are only useful if we know how to cultivate them and heed what they are trying to convey.
Those who make the best use of forecasting know how to prepare the ground — through dreams,  special brain states, and practices in their daily lives — for this kind of information to come to them regularly.
But do the warnings do any good?
In the majority of cases, it appears that they do. In some 150 reports of precognition collected by the Rhine Center, in two-thirds of cases, the parties who’d received the premonitions were able to change the course of events and prevent calamity.
The universe gave a nod and a wink to this discussion on our trip home from Albuquerque.  We had been scheduled to fly United from Albuquerque to Chicago, where we’d pick up a Virgin flight to London.  When we got to the Albuquerque airport, we discovered that our United flight was so delayed that we would likely miss the Virgin flight in Chicago.
The marvelously dedicated man behind the desk at United spent close to an hour, painstakingly ensuring that we would be switched to a later United flight in Chicago so that we’d be sure to make the connection.
During the second leg of our trip home, I uncharacteristically became obsessed with our baggage-claim tickets, to the point where I kept pestering my husband Bryan:  Where are they?  Are they safe? 
As it happened, the flight attendants in our overnight plane to London left all of us to sleep until the very last minute. In the general scramble to ready ourselves and get out the door, Bryan left the baggage-claim tickets in his book on his seat. 
After discovering this while on line through passport control, I smiled. I often get many early warning hits like this. “I just hope we’re not going to need them,” I thought, but when our baggage didn’t arrive, I wasn’t particularly surprised.
It turned out we didn’t need the tickets. Through its computer tracking system, United located the bags, which had gone to Virgin, despite our change of flight, and they arrived the following day. I had to chuckle over the events because they offered me another reminder of the power of premonitions.
I had been hearing that small voice within me loud and clear.  Pay attention to me, it seemed to be saying.  At some point you’re really going to need to.
For those of you who would like to train your brain to invite in premonitions more frequently, join me on our Sunday, August 1, 2010 teleseminar:

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Lynne McTaggart

Lynne McTaggart is an award-winning journalist and the author of seven books, including the worldwide international bestsellers The Power of Eight, The Field, The Intention Experiment and The Bond, all considered seminal books of the New Science and now translated into some 30 languages.

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21 comments on “First sight: back to the future”

  1. Lynne ,
    41 years ago I had a dream My mother was in a coffin. next day I kept my son home from school, I was on edge. ... early morning a telegram arrived mom passed away last night , figuring the 5 hour time difference she died just before my dream. Since my NDE 23 yrs ago I have had so many of these dreams , I stared to keep a journal 10 yrs ago , I think you may think I am emmbelishing but i am not . When they are read in order its a whole story , afraid to tell anyone because it sounds IMPOSSIBLE.

  2. I believe in premonitions - so many similar stories I have heard through friends over the years - dreams "coming true" - also awareness of something about to happen. Dr Brian Weiss's work on "future progression" I found fascinating.
    Time and space is such a mystery - the deeper we go, the more it feels we are just scratching the surface because of the limits of our own minds being able to process through our senses including our intuition...I often wonder about so much of what we cannot "SEE" - that part that is invisible being what we are all seeking to find within ourselves.

  3. This post gave me goosebumps.
    Here's an interesting story...
    Awhile back I was looking for a career change and decided to get into the spa industry. Before I sent out my resume I had a vision of an old building with flags out front and a tree beside it.
    I get a call for an interview and wouldn't you know it, where I was going to was that same building.
    It gets better...
    I get a call from an old love and she's telling me about a dream she had where I was married to another girl. She described the girl to a tee. Even narrowing in on where she lived.
    A couple of weeks later can you guess what happened...?
    I was working at that spa I mentioned above, and I was put in charge of training new hires. And the new hire that I was to train was the very same girl my ex had seen in her dream.
    We're now married, 5 years, with two kids.

  4. Ok, I''m one of those people that through the years have experienced premonitions of silly things, terrible things in dreams, flashes, feelings what. It comes, it's not because of a desire for it. It's not under control and it's not always clear . Sometimes you can avoid personal harm but I personally could not warn or help friends or change their future. So why was I alerted? I've stopped feeling guilt but what is the point in knowing if you can't act to prevent?

  5. My premonitions seem to come in the form of strong feelings which tell me "yes, I should do this," or "no, this is not for me." It's like a feeling of elation, of great happiness or a feeling of depression, telling me something is wrong for me. When I pay attention to these feelings (and I always do), things turn out wonderfully.

  6. My grandaughter was mugged and punched and sustained a very serious injury a few months ago. my daughter, her mother, dreamt that night that there was a bus crash and she was on the bus...

  7. I rely heavily on my intuition but in most cases absolutely nothing happens - but wouldn't it be because I listened to my inner voice and avoided the situation? It'd just be a lot easier to the world around me if I could prove that my premonitions hold true 🙂

  8. I just sent 2 emails to 2 friends: one about time and another about dreams, and then I read Lynne's blog saying the same thing. Wow!
    Synchronicity, non-locality, premonition are all about the interconnectedness of all things.

  9. Some years ago we were on a family car trip. It was rainy weather. I had an overwhelming premonition of a car accident and asked my husband who was driving to please please pull over for just a little while. I felt a fear so deep and overwhelming that I blocked out conscious awareness. Shortly after that, we had a car accident and my four-year old son was killed. We were all hospitalized with injuries. Although I was told that I had been ambulatory, I had no memory of events between blocking them in the car prior to the accident and sitting in the hospital. I have no memory of that to this day.

  10. I am 56. When I was a teen & still living with my parents in England I told my mother about a dream I had the previous night. I dremt that I was my mother. I also felt terrible grief and regret. In my dream my aunt (my mothr's sister) had died (she was still alive at thtat time). The regret was that there was some unspoken issues between tham that were unresolved. I felt like my aunt had been jelous of my mother for some reason and had been mean to her when they had been very young. However, as a religous family they prayed for each other and belived in forgiveness. On the face of it, they were devoted sisiters but something remined unresoplved and in my dream the death would mean that what ever "it" was would remain unresolved.
    My mother was shocked by my knowing that there was something unresolved & said that she would visit my aunt ,which she did . Three days later my aunt suddenly passed away.

  11. In the course notes Lynne has made available in conjunction with this Sunday's clairvoyance training, one of the bullet lists mentioned noting dreams that an incandescent quality, as an indicator that one might have had a premonition. Then I recalled having had a dream in which George Bush Jr. had beached his boat. The fact that I've never seen the former president in person, never had any waking communication with him nor any particular concern about his post-presidential activities somehow did not prevent me from suggesting to him in the dream that he should learn to use both oars. I thought when I awoke that morning that that was a rather odd dream to awaken from and then went on to the shower and to the day. That evening I was startled to hear on the news that Mr. Bush had indeed beached his 38 foot boat( probably not a boat where oars would be of major concern). The most vivid impression in the dream was Bush's face. His eyebrows and his hair were glowing an "incandescent" blond color on a very tan face. Maybe I have a suppressed desire to be a presidential advisor, maybe along the lines of the character Peter Sellers played in "The Gardener." However, I didn't feel a pressing urge to warn the president about a possible boating accident and I'm about as political as a dead fish.

  12. I have a similar situation to Dale. I have detailed dreams sometimes and then see later on the news that it actually happened - often around the actual time of the dream. The event often takes place on the other side of the world and always to people I don't know. I don't understand why I get these messages when there is nothing I can do to prevent the event.

  13. Some years ago Iwas driving past an airport (Essendon Aerodrome in Melbourne Victoria Australia) when I "saw" an aircraft fly over the road and into a residential area - I also had a quick 'insight' into the crash and that no one was killed. Later that night an aircraft flew across the road and skimmed across rooftops coming to rest on a roof and slowly slid into the front garden of a house. No one killed and the pilot suffered a back injury.
    One of my daughters was in China with her Mother and they were due to fly from Guangzhou to Wuhan when my daughter said that she didn't want to fly and wanted to take the train ( an overnight trip) I was flying between Australia and Hong Kong at the time and I then travelled by train from Hong Kong to Wuhan and was met by my wife and daughter to be told that the plane that they didn't catch exploded over Wuhan after apparently being struck by lighting. My daughter's first words to me were, " Dad, I saved Mum's life." This was somewhere near the end of the 1900's and the start of the 2000's. We usually made several trips a year to China and my memory is not that good as to which trip it was.
    Another time in the early 1990s I had an almost overwhelming desire to pull over (while driving past) and buy a lottery ticket. I didn't because it was too much trouble to make a U turn. Someone else walked into the shop and won 5,000,000 with a quick-pick ticket. I've had the thought again from time-to-time but no win.
    In 2008 I had a thought that my Mother might pass-away on the 60th aniversary of my father's death . I decided to visit her in the nursing home and on the way called in to the cemetary and visited my father, his mother and sister and my Mother's parents. Enroute to the nursing home my sister rang to tell us that Mum had passed away. Had we driven there direct we - 3 of my children and I - would have arrived before Mum slipped quitely away between breakfast and lunch.

  14. my life has been plagued by paranormal events.
    they can seriously compromise a 'normal' lifestyle
    especially, when they have been validated by witness's . your unique response to such events is why they happen. that statement may baffle you !

  15. Lucid dreaming is a regular occurance in my life and I am gratefull of my experience, working whilst sleeping, you can't get better than this. Trained to control and allow now my experience is greater. I wish others would see this talent as a gift. How lucky are you all? Many cannot even remember dreaming.

  16. The very vivid experiences mentoned above obviously should be taken seriously. The problem is with all those quieter, less vivid insights and premonitions. When many fears prove groundless and many "bad feelings" prove unjustified, one can be excused for not always heeding the warnings that prove correct and which one regrets not listening to.

  17. Fifteen years ago, I was the carpool mom and was running my four kids and my friend's three children to school in my van. I was a little behind, so as we traveled up Cooley Street, a main road in our small town but with very little traffic that morning, I was going 5 to 10 miles over the posted 30 mph. One-half block before the next cross street, a small one with a stop sign, I heard a male voice behind me say clearly, "Slow down!" Why? There was no traffic. I eased off the gas until I was travelling 25 mph. Just before we reached the intersection, a loud pick-up truck failed to even slow for the stop sign and blasted through the intersection right at the moment my van would have been there were it not for the premonition.

  18. Hi everyone, a while back, on a different blog, I asked everyone to send intentions for my nephew, it was not one of the weekly intentions, well, after so many different trials, by the way it is a stage 4 cancer of the brain, anyway for those who may remember the request, a new doctor, the intentions, Matt's core belief, everyone I asked to pray, the Divine, have all encourage the tumors, and they have gotten smaller, right now that is the best news, my niece his mom got the news a day before her birthday....Thanks again for any and all prayers and intentions. Hope is a awakened dream. my thoughts and love with everyone, I wanted to share this , its such a gift. Love Peace Dream....Now back to the miracle of today

  19. I believe these experiences come to us because we do have the power to change the outcome or in the case of events that have already taken place, change the effect of these events. We are very powerful beings and when some of these feelings, or insights that do not directly affect us come to our awareness, we can take a few moments to send out a prayer, or affirmation, that whatever has happened that Divine Right Action is in control. If every person who experienced these premonitions, or awakened in the middle of the night filled with fear that was not of their own making would take the time to do this I believe this world would be more at peace.

  20. Quite a few years back I read a lot of Silva Mind Control. They had a wonderful way of handling negative or scary thoughts, which is what a premonition is, after all, no matter how vivid. They simply said to say "cancel, cancel" and drop the matter, trusting the universe to do just that to the scary scenario. This has always worked for me, erasing the negative scenario I had become attached to.
    Every stupid or brilliant thought floats before our minds eventually. It is those we become focused on or attached to that we then experience.
    I see from Google that Silva is still around and for those who think it is about someone controlling your mind it is the opposite. It is about understanding and using your own mind for the betterment of yourself and the world.

  21. I will tell you about my first experience of reality dreaming.
    My first experience in reality dreaming was in November 1974. I was driving my car along a large field, there was a dense fog around. Suddenly a plane fell out of the sky and crashed to my right side in the field. I stopped my car and ran towards the plane, while running suddenly there was a house and I decided to run to the house. Arriving at the house I saw a phone and wanted to call for help, at the same time I picked up the phone I felt a hand on my arm and beside me stood a man who told me that it was to late to call because there where no survivors. I looked at the plane and was shocked to see the remains. The tail section was rising up and there was a red wing on the tail. Then I woke up. For more then ten days this red wing on the tail kept me wondering and I could not find out which company it was. Then in the evening of December 4, 10 days later I watched the news and saw the crash of the Martinair plane on Shri-Lanka and was shocked again by seeing the red wing on the tail which I saw in my dream. There where no survivors.
    Since that day I had these dreams regularly with terrible outcome.

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